Social Question

meagan's avatar

How do you get a degree in Psychology?

Asked by meagan (4665points) September 9th, 2010

Hi, all.
After high school I didn’t go directly to college. I’m only 21, so its not such a big deal. But now I’m interested in going to school to get my bachelors (for now) in Psychology.

Can someone help me understand the process I need to go through?
I’ve been looking online at some schools, and some only offer Psychology as a liberal arts degree.
I’d love a little advice on how to pick great programs and schools for psychology as a major. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

Please excuse the ridiculous question. My family and I aren’t very close, so I don’t really have a lot of people to get great advice from.

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6 Answers

Aster's avatar

I don’t know about which schools to choose but any counselor at any college will discuss it with you. First you take your basic courses then, gradually, you’ll be taking only psych courses. (Psych 101,
Abnormal Psych, Developmental Psych, Sociology , I can’t remember what else ).

muppetish's avatar

I’m not a Psychology major (nor do I have a degree in it) but I can give you some tips from my experience applying to universities and help you from there. I hope someone here has better inside advice on the actual field for you :) There’s bound to be someone.

To locate universities that offer Psychology as a full-fledged major, I would recommend using CollegeBoard as a starting place. You can stick to straight Psychology, Psychology as a minor, or find a more specialized field. It depends on what you’re looking for. Our Psychology department is not a liberal arts degree on my campus – you would receive a Bachelors upon graduation.

Another thing to pay attention to is the type of school. In California, our main schools are UCs, Cal States, and Private Universities. UCs and Cal States have completely different classroom settings (the former being more research oriented with lecture/discussion based coursework; the former (which I attend) focuses more on lecture-based coursework. The class size will also be impacted as a result.)

Take a look at the course requirements for the degree as well. It’s a good thing to keep in mind what kind of classes you are interested in taking. This has been a big part of graduate school hunting – some institutions offer classes that I am not even remotely interested as part of the MA program. If one university offers different emphases in Psychology that interest you, that could be a selling point.

It’s also not a bad idea to look into community colleges, too. Several friends of mine completed their General Education undergraduate courses at a community college before transferring to a bigger university. I think this is a good option (even if it is only a back up plan.)

There’s no such thing as a ridiculous question :) Feel free to ask as many as you’d like. I’m always excited when people want to continue their education.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

This does not really answer your question.. but I wanted to offer a little bit of support. I never went to college, and neither did my parents. I wouldn’t know the first thing about “how to go to college”... let alone anything beyond that. Anyhow it certainly isn’t a “ridiculous question.”

mrrich724's avatar

Colleges want you to want to attend! I would consider taking a mini-roadtrip to a few colleges you think you would be interested in going to.

You could then go into their admissions office and get counseling straight from the horses mouth!

But a couple things you definitely want to do is start by applying for FAFSA (to get financial aid), and getting online and filling out applications.

It’s not TOO difficult to get in. Make sure that FAFSA is filled out before the deadline, apply, submit your H.S. grades/ SAT scores, write a couple essays . . . then wait to see if you get in.

You may want to consider applying to start in a summer term as opposed to the normal Fall starting term. Better chances of getting in, and good way to get your bearings straight before campus is inundated in the Fall.

If you can’t roadtrip, just call admissions offices and I’m sure there are counceling services they can provide right over the phone to get you pointed in the right direction.

Sigh, I miss college. No matter how you approach it, JUST GO! It’s so worth it.

Oh, and to answer your question, once you are in and have taken the pre-reqs, you just meet with a counselor and ask what classes you need to sign up for to get the major of your choice. Sorry, the whole mentioning of your lack of family guidance made me think you might need a few more pointers than just choosing the major.

le_inferno's avatar

Essentially every school offers Psychology. I am a psych major. Just when you enroll for classes, let the academic advisor or whoever you are scheduling with know that you’re thinking of a Psych major, and he/she should be able to steer you in the right direction. Start out with Psych 101, obviously, and then continue following the track. There should be a course book that outlines all the requirements for the major. Good luck :)

perspicacious's avatar

Go to college and major in psychology.

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